There’s already some pretty stiff competition for the Class of 2012.

Early applications to Georgetown increased by over 31 percent this year, a rise that Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon largely attributed to the decisions of several elite universities last fall to end their early application programs.

According to preliminary estimates, approximately 6,000 people applied to Georgetown early this year, compared to 4,562 last year and 4,051 in 2005. The early application period ended Thursday.

Deacon said the increase, while not normal, was anticipated.

“The primary reason we predicted this increase was due to the elimination of early programs from Harvard [University], Princeton [University], and the University of Virginia,” he said. “Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 students are now looking for somewhere to apply early but also want to keep their options available for those three other schools.”

Deacon said the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is anticipating a lower-than-normal yield from the early-admitted pool, since more students will wait to apply to schools that dropped their early action programs.

Deacon said the application pool was stronger academically than in previous years, a fact he also attributed to the elimination of certain early action programs.

“The pool is slightly higher in test scores and grades, such as [grade point average] or class rank,” he said.

Applicants could apply online for the first time this year, which Deacon said will likely lead to increased regular applications.

“We anticipate a somewhat higher international applicant pool because of the online application,” he said.

Deacon said the admissions committee wishes to admit 18 percent of both early and regular applicants. The university typically admits an approximately equal rate of applicants from both pools. The university accepted 21 percent of applicants to the Class of 2011.

“We would not like to change our policy,” Deacon said. “In the end, we believe we get a class that wants to be here.”

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